The Council of Delegates of the Christian Reformed Church decided that the denomination will hold an Inspire event every two years, starting in 2019. The Council acts on behalf of the annual CRC synod when it is not in session.
The decision to continue the events was based on the reactions to the first Inspire conference held in Detroit, Mich., in August 2017. (See “Gathered to Inspire Ministry.”) The grounds to continue holding Inspire conferences stated, “It seems that CRC members and leaders benefited from the recent binational gathering and it should occur in a repeating and planned way.”
Delegate Don Draayer, Classis Lake Superior, said the committee that looked at the responses to Inspire 2017 found them overwhelmingly positive.
Delegate Stanley Jim, Classis Red Mesa, expressed a concern that attendance at the prayer summits would suffer when Inspire is in the same year.
Delegate Brian Ochsner, Classis Central Plains, asked who was doing the planning and funding. A donor funded much of the cost for Inspire 2017. Staff said there are indications that the same donor would be willing to contribute funding again. Planning for the 2017 event is done two-thirds by denominational staff and one-third by volunteers. “The reason I’m asking,” Ochsner said, “is that we just discussed reevaluating and reducing [the] denominational footprint. This would seem to increase it. All the time we’re asking staff to cut back on things. Even in my own church, we can’t keep piling on things to people.”
Draayer noted that connecting to congregations is “difficult to measure but is not insignificant.”
Delegates who had attended Inspire 2017 expressed appreciation for the event. Verney Ko, at-large delegate, said “It was fantastic. I really enjoyed it. This helps congregations and people know what the CRC is about.”
There is also a Canadian national gathering held every three years, the next of which will be in 2019 in Edmonton, Alberta.